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experimental electronica
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Utility Fog

Your weekly fix of postfolkrocktronica, dronenoise, power ambient, post-everything improv... and more?
Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.

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Sunday, 31st of March, 2019

Playlist 31.03.19 (8:09 pm)

Industrial techno, glitchscapes and other oddities tonight...

LISTEN AGAIN to the best sounds to nod your head to... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Goth-Trad - Bloody Dice [Daymare Recordings]
JK Flesh - Empty Victory [Daymare Recordings]
JK Flesh - Circus of Illusions [Avalanche Recordings]
Klaska - Lithium Voodoo [Avalanche Recordings]
Two split EPs featuring JK Flesh to start the show. Justin K Broadrick has spread himself across countless genres since he was part of the original lineup of Napalm Death in the 1980s and helped initiate the short sharp shocks of grindcore. With Godflesh he took grindcore and metal into the mechanised wastelands of industrial music, and along with Kevin Martin (aka The Bug), he released some much-prized ambient/experimental/dub/beats as Techno Animal (and also Ice, and various other aliases). After Godflesh split, his main outlet for songwriting was Jesu's doomy shoegaze metal, but he's continued electronic production in various guises, and JK Flesh has of late been a powerhouse of industrial techno at various tempos. His split on legendary Japanese label Daymare Recordings, Knights of the Black Table, is described as "slow-motion industrial dub techno", and both he and the great Japanese dubstep/electronic artist Goth-Trad deliver in spades. Meanwhile on his own Avalanche Recordings, the Halved EP has much faster, squelchier sounds from Broadrick, while on the (notional) flipside post-metaller Kevin Laska brings three tracks of smoother head-nodders, with a curious and compelling triplet feel...

The Pulse Projects - Nonfunction 02 [Opal Tapes]
Some much more minimal broken techno here from Dutch producer Albert van Abbe on the ever-reliable Opal Tapes, with a little dubby nod to the bass & kick, skittering hi-hats and heavily tweaked dub delays. It's subtle and delicious.

joni void - lov-ender (with ylangylang) [Constellation]
joni void - observer (natalie's song) (feat. Natalie Reid) [Constellation]
joni void - deep impression / im depression [Constellation]
Canadian producer Jean Cousin has just released his second album for Constellation as Joni Void, Mise en Abyme. Like his previous, Selfless, there are vocal contributions from a multitude of (mostly female) friends, and lots of glitchy, hazey samples and mostly semi-buried beats. But his layered vocals appear on one or two tracks this time, and also his own words on the last selection, spoken through a text-to-speech system, rather disquietingly in an Australian accent.

Fennesz - Rainfall [Touch]
Fennesz - Instrument 3 [Mego/Touch]
Fennesz - traxdata [Mego]
Fennesz - We Trigger the Sun [Touch]
In the mid-to-late '90s, no label was more synonymous with glitch and electronic experimentalism than Australian label Mego (which relaunched as Editions Mego in 2006), and one of the most talented purveyors of this sound was Christian Fennesz. To some extent this is because Fennesz was less uncompromising with the noise and chaos than contemporaries like Pita (Peter Rehberg, who runs Editions Mego), Hecker or even Farmers Manual, but his earlier works were at the time rather groundbreaking and ear-opening. He gained deserved fame with the Endless Summer album, which invoked the Beach Boys through a haze of static and drone. In the last 10 years or so, it's felt to me like Fennesz started repeating himself, with lacklustre overly-pleasant collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and a whole lot of stuff that seemed to repeat the same four strummed guitar chords through the same patches. So I'm very glad that his new album Agora, recorded on a limited setup in a small room on his house, mixed on headphones, brings back some kind of edge to his sound - still with beautiful processed guitar, but with a low-end pulse running through a lot of the release, and a certain roughness. Maybe it's just me, but anyway it's rather wonderful. To remind us, I played a track from his first EP and from his first album, glitching electronics and dubby bass.

JWPaton - Waiting To Cross [Histamine Tapes]
JWPaton - Everything's Okay [Histamine Tapes]
Sydney experimental artist JWPaton recently relocated from the city to the Blue Mountains, and his new album Skychief, released on US label Histamine Tapes, reflects these two settings, with noisy drone tracks based on processed field recordings giving way to ambient dub pieces. On "Everything's Okay" a choir is sampled and harmonised to create something both noisy and uplifting.

Sensaround - varispeed [hellosQuare]
The first new track from a new release from cross-continental trio Sensaround, which features Canberran guitarist & electronic musician Shoeb Ahmad, Sydney pianist Alister Spence and Scottish saxophonist Raymond MacDonald. All three artists here are producing quite unusual sounds for their instruments, with little of a pulse or even a tonal centre - it's soundscapey stuff from three accomplished sculptors of sound. The album drops soon.

Romeo Moon - Let Love In [Hotel Motel]
We recently heard a lovely instrumental track from Melbourne's Kevin Orr, and the new EP from Romeo Moon is released soon. There's a bit of a Radiohead feel to this, and it has a delightfully/disturbingly lopsided beat that adds an extra beat and a half every 4 bars I think. There's an expansive feel to the whole EP, which combines electronic & live instruments, and treats its songs in many ways like instrumentals.

Lisathe - Pagan Poetry [Art As Catharsis]
Sydney trio Lisathe have undertaken on their debut album to cover a series of Icelandic composers & musicians - so in guitar/bass/drums format they're playing people like Jóhann Jóhannsson and, here, Björk. It's initially jolting to hear this classic of glitch-pop on these instruments, with Björk's high voice replaced by the baritone of the guitar, but it somehow works, and makes me keen to hear the takes on even more radically different artists.

The Future Sound Of London - Artificial Placement of Emotion [FSOL Digital]
For the second year in a row psychedelic ambient techno/rave veterans The Future Sound Of London are doing their FSOL Calendar for the year - no physical calendar, but a new track released each month in mp3 format. This archival (but relatively recent) track is a nice skittery piece of drill'n'bass-ish electronica. The duo have a seemingly endless archive of mostly excellent music. They've sustained a cyberpunk aesthetic and a habit of fictionalised self-mythologising for decades now, and it seems they'll never stop. I'm not complaining.

Listen again — ~197MB

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